Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Digital (rip-off) Britain.

Hello boys and girls. Today in the UK a lot of fuss is being made over Freeview and Digital TV. The reason put simply is that Freeview are getting ready to launch BBC HD, so if you have a HD Ready TV you can buy a HD Freeview box and watch HD broadcasts for free (HD being short for High Definition but you already knew that). HD broadcasts take up a lot of space on the airwaves so Freeview are doing a little 'tidy up' to make space for BBC HD. This means we all have to re-tune our Freeview boxes, don't worry it's not as complicated as you might think.

I would guess that nearly all Freeview boxes can be re-tuned by picking up the remote, pressing 'Menu' then selecting 'Settings' and finally choosing the option 'Auto Tune'. Your box will automatically scan the airwaves and store all the channels it finds. The whole process probably won't take more than ten minutes so don't be scared just because it involves the word 'Digital'.

Speaking of the word Digital there seems to be a bit of confusion as to just what Digital Television is and (in my opinion) the Electronic stores in the UK are taking advantage of this. A few weeks ago I was wandering around my local electronic store (ahem..COMET..coff..splutter) waiting for the wife when I overheard a sales assistant talking to an elderly couple. The couple just wanted to know if they needed any special equipment to watch digital TV. The sales guy said that "Just to be safe" they should buy the managers special package which included a HD Ready TV a Freeview box and an 18 month cable subscription! I did the maths and that works out to around £1080!

The elderly gent, after suffering a near heart attack, said he'd just spent money getting Sky installed but the sales guy didn't budge and insisted that "Just to be safe" the couple should buy the package and that way they would definitely have Digital TV.

I was appalled and as the sales guy stepped away to get the forms I put the couple straight and watched them run for thier lives. When the sales guy returned I put him straight too. His excuse was that he didn't have the proper training so was not able to advise people correctly. "B@#...!!" I replied and so should you if any salesman tries to convince you otherwise.

Now then readers just to clarify Sky television is a digital service and no matter how old the TV if you have a Sky box plugged into it then your already watching Digital TV. The same can be said if you have a Virgin Cable box plugged into it. No need to spend lots of money either as you could just plug a £20 Freeview box into it. Just remember to re-tune it.